Game Preview: Raptors vs. Knicks
New York Knicks (23-32) @ Toronto Raptors (36-16)
When: Thursday, February 8th, 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast info: SN1, TSN1050
The Raptors fell to the Knicks 108-100 in the last meeting between these two teams in November at Madison Square Garden. It was a wild game, and one the Raptors would not like to not repeat, losing after leading by 11 at the half. Toronto collapsed in the third quarter, getting outscored 41-10 as Ti Hardaway Jr. led the way in a 28-0 Knicks run. New York went from being down 11 at the half to leading 89-69 heading into the fourth. Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high in the game, with 38 points, and Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks. Kyle Lowry scored 25 points to lead Toronto in the loss, and DeMar DeRozan added 18 points.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: Toronto's injury report is clear. The Knicks will be without Kristaps Porzingis (left ACL), Enes Kanter (oral surgery), Ron Baker (right shoulder injury), and Joakim Noah (personal reasons).
Homecourt dominance: The Raptors enter Thursday's game following a dominant 111-91 victory against the Boston Celtics. The victory moved them within a single game of Boston, the top team in the Eastern Conference, and it came largely because of the play of the second unit. Toronto's bench exploded for 59 points on 21-of-30 field goals in Tuesday's game, including shooting 9-for-16 from beyond the arc. The Raptors are an NBA-best 22-4 on the Air Canada Centre floor.
Disappointing finish: The Knicks were dealt a tough blow on Tuesday when All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis went down with an ACL injury. The team announced after the game that an MRI revealed the tear in his left knee. Porzingis had started all 47 games he had appeared in this season, averaging 22.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest.
From deep: Kyle Lowry will participate in the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night three-point competition during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles later this month. He shot 6-for-11 from three in Tuesday's victory against the Celtics. The team as a whole shot 17-for-36 (47 percent) against one of the best teams in the league at defending the three-point shot.
Shooters shoot: Joining Lowry in Tuesday's three-point barrage was reserve C.J. Miles who came off the bench to score 20 points in just 15 minutes of action. Miles shot 6-for-8 from the floor and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, stretching the floor for his teammates and extending Toronto's lead throughout the second half.
Raining threes: DeMar DeRozan was 2-for-6 from three on Tuesday and needs just three more three-point field goals to match his career high for three-pointers made during a single season. He is shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc this season and has made 61 threes. DeRozan is averaging 24.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game.